No plans yet for Friday? There are still tickets available for Friday night's BAM: Celebrity Chef Food Tasting and Auction at the Hard Rock, at the cool price of $175 each. That's a load of Benjis to drop on a food tasting, but it's only because the cash is going toward a charitable cause: the Ann Storck Center, an organization that assists children with mental disabilities in Broward County. In years past, the annual fundraiser has brought in more than $400,000 for the program. They say charity is its own reward, but the spread of dishes from 3030 Ocean, Brook's, Chef Allen's, Lola's on Harrison, Sublime, and many more sounds like a nice thank you. The tasting starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the Seminole Hard Rock's Main Ballroom. For tickets call 954-584-8000, ext. 372.
Alternatively, you could check out the Riverwalk Trust's Mutts and Martini's Yappy Hour starting at 5:30 p.m. at Briny Riverfront. Fort Lauderdale's self-proclaimed "largest outdoor pet-friendly happy hour" will feature (deep breath) a "200-foot obstacle course for the dogs, canine contests and demonstrations, pet massages, doggie ice cream, appetizers and drinks for the humans, live music, pet adoptions courtesy of the Humane Society of Broward County, raffles, prizes, sponsor booths and more." If you're a dog lover and a bit of a party animal yourself, this is undoubtedly your bag. To me, it doesn't sound much different from a normal night on Riverfront: dogs humping bit... female dogs on the dance floor while their designated drivers sit on stand by. Tickets cost just $15 at GoRiverwalk.com.
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And finally, don't forget about the Miami International Wine Fair, which starts Saturday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. There will be more than 1,500 wines on display, many of which will be available for tasting. Sounds like there will be plenty of people sleeping on South Beach Saturday night. Tickets run $75 to $120.